Backstory: diagnosed with Bipolar 2/GAD. Have been an RN for 3 years but have been job hopping and feel like I'm getting to the point where I can't get hired. First 3 hospital jobs were cardiac stepdown; spent 2 months at the first two and 6 months at the last. Tried LTC (2 mos.), pediatric psych hospital (2 wks), and currently doing PDN part time while on disability. My work history has been very spread out. Have been doing PDN for almost a year now but I'm going stir crazy.
My reasons for leaving each job varied somewhat but boiled down to not being able to handle the combined stress of work, home, life in general, and all the extra that pops up. I tend to react to the stress as opposed to responding. I started my last hospital job last year being proactive; I had my psych doctor with meds and weekly therapy sessions and I did well at first. Received nothing but compliments from patient and families and most staff. Constructive criticism was met with action plans and positive change. I was extremely anxious but I was dealing; it helped to hear from the other nurses that they felt the same way and I wasn't alone. However, all the extra started happening (i.e. hurricane accompanied by PTSD as I had been in another hurricane the year before and lost everything, among other things) and I just ran (running meaning not only leaving the job but moving).
I completely enjoy nursing, bedside nursing in particular, and there is still so much that I want to try but it seems a nurse needs acute care experience to do most anything else outside of LTC and Home Health. I have the opportunity to go back to my previous hospital job, or at least interview, and although I would love to, I am extremely hesitant because I can't afford another repeat. I've been brainstorming and besides trying med surg (because that step down unit was more like ICU with higher nurse patient ratios), I feel like I need a plan for when things start to go south. I feel like that might be what's missing besides some good old fashion resilience. I need to also work with the therapist in identifying what is exactly triggering me and what that looks like in terms of symptoms so the action plan can be used appropriately.
My questions are: How do I explain the job hopping during an interview? What else can I do to be successful?